According to Sandipan Mondal, the founder of ZAPR, Bengaluru-based media-tech startup it is India’s largest media consumption repository and audience targeting platform. It enables content creators to better understand the media consumption trends of their viewers, and engage with them in a personalized and contextual manner. Most importantly this startup help brands bridge their offline advertising strategy with their mobile strategies and enhance their audience buying plans.
Earlier this year ZAPR, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding led by Flipkart, with participation from Saavn, Micromax and Mu Sigma cofounders – Dhiraj Rajaram and Ambiga Dhiraj. Mondal tells us more about how ZAPR works with the brands and broadcasters, its positioning and USP.
How does ZAPR work?
We started ZAPR, in 2012, a couple of years after Deepak Baid, Sajo Mathews and I graduated from IIM Ahmedabad. As technology enthusiasts we strongly believed that technology would disrupt the media and advertising industry, especially because a lot of practices and methodologies were decades old. It’s been just a few years since then, and we’re seeing those changes today, with disruption in content formats, distribution platforms, consumption patterns and advertising strategies.
Our proprietary technology platform profiles the offline media consumption for millions of people, enabling content owners and brands, for the first time, to identify their offline audiences and re-engage with them on digital and mobile. We blend together expertise in digital signal processing and data analytics to identify, analyze and derive insights from the media consumption habits of millions across the country.
What’s your positioning and USP?
We are India’s largest media consumption repository and audience targeting platform. We’re one of India’s most advanced digital signal processing and media data analytics labs. For the very first time, we enable content creators to better understand the media consumption trends of their viewers, and engage with them in a personalized and contextual manner.
Our DNA really is all about research in signal processing and it is our unwavering focus in tech R&D and product innovation that ensures that we are constantly offering newer and more relevant platforms for the industry.
How does ZAPR help with rich content delivery for consumers? Who are your stakeholders?
Our proprietary data platform and audience engagement platform can be leveraged to drive media targeted brand engagement campaigns and derive data-backed audience and consumer insights.
As a B2B company, we work with leading brands, media agencies, broadcasters, research agencies and others, through a suite of product offerings, across data and audience.
We are at a unique position to help brands bridge their offline advertising strategy with their mobile strategies and enhance their audience buying plans. Users who are consuming offline content are usually and simultaneously engaged elsewhere, leading them to ignore TV commercials. Ad campaigns can now be directed across platforms, to ensure that a brand's wasted TV impressions are reinforced across screens. ZAPR blurs the line between the silos of mobile and TV, allowing brands to reach the same audience across both screens. Our technology allows broadcasters as well to identify specific target audiences, create audience segments based on their TV viewership habits and engage with them on the mobile platform in a relevant, personalised and contextual manner.
We can provide marketers and researchers with crowd sourced data that can be used to enhance their marketing strategies based on media consumption patterns of target audiences. It permits marketers to re-engage with viewers exposed to brand’s TVC across screens and augment their frequency. This also permits them to deliver content to a viewer’s handheld device based on his or her language preferences.
With in-depth understanding of media consumption habits, ZAPR bridges the gap between TV and mobile for a more rich and screen-agnostic media viewing experience.
How do you work with your clients?
We’re currently offering our clients two platforms – data and audience engagement. Brands, broadcasters and research agencies, use the ZAPR Data Platform, dive into our massive media data repositories and derive rich insights. The ZAPR Audience Platform can be leveraged to identify relevant audience segments based on their media consumption habits and to engage with them across the mobile ecosystem, thereby enabling brands and content creators to bridge their TV and mobile strategies.
We have partnered with leading broadcasters to solve some intractable problems and uncover rich insights about media consumption. For example, a leading GEC recently worked with us to understand the performance of the promos of its new TV show. Using the Data Platform, we were able to identify the conversion of audiences from the promo to the actual show, and built a correlation model to measure effectiveness. A regional broadcaster had a new prime-time show launching, and used the audience platform to target viewers of competing shows, by pushing the show promos to them to build show awareness, on Facebook and other mobile apps.
We have also started working for movie studios around understanding the media consumption preferences of movie goers.
How is ZAPR helping brands in optimizing their ad spends and audience engagement?
The ZAPR Audience Platform can be leveraged to identify relevant audience segments based on their media consumption habits and then engage with them across the mobile ecosystem, thereby enabling brands and content creators to bridge their TV and mobile strategies.
For example, a movie studio with a new upcoming Hollywood action movie, can identify millions of people who enjoy watching similar movies on TV or in the theater, and push the trailer to them on Facebook. Or a sports brand can identify millions of people watching the Olympics and engage with them with specific creatives. Or an FMCG brand looking to reach out to prime-time GEC viewers can engage with them specifically whenever they open up an app. Hence, consumers receive customized content on their mobile devices based on their media consumption patterns.
What is your growth strategy? After TV and mobile audience engagement, what’s next?
While our current focus is on television, our technology platform is format-agnostic. Our goal is really to build a comprehensive profile across all formats of media consumption. Having solved for TV consumption data, our research is now focused on non-linear formats, keeping future consumption trends in mind. We plan to expand across radio, movies in theater and most importantly, video-on-demand in the coming months.
Over the next few months, we will launch innovative mobile product offerings to help brands re-engage with their audiences in a contextual and relevant fashion and extract much better RoI. This will also help our mobile app partners drive better engagement with their users and get more value for their ad inventory.
Our technology is also geography agnostic, and we will soon consider expanding to other countries. However, currently we are focused on India, expanding our product portfolio, working and collaborating with stakeholders across the industry.